Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ridge Hill Reservation: Muir Path Trail & Field View Trail

The last time I posted about the Muir Path Trail was about four years ago. At the time it was completely neglected, overgrown, and I basically had to hack my way through. Here's a photo. Now it is stunningly open, easy to walk, and a real Ridge Hill gem.
It circles a small pond. As I walked by recently I flushed a great horned owl. I wonder if there is a nest atop one of those tall white pines?
In fact the only downside is that the trail is short. If you come from the north you will reach a fork. Going to the left, which allows the clearest views of the pond, takes you back to the Ridge Hill driveway. Going to the right takes you to the gas line easement. It appears from the official map that you can simply follow the easement north to hook into other Ridge Hill trails.
Whether you do or not depends on how comfortable you are walking through someone's back yard...

The Field View Trail can be reached via the easement (in two spots: just north of the backyard above or just south of the spur off of North trail) as well as from the Ridge Hill field. (There is also access via a trail that begins just south of the picnic area).
Entrance to Field View Trail from the Ridge Hill field.
It is apparently named the "Field View" trail because you have to walk through a bit of field to get in. From the woods itself you will not be viewing any fields.
I think a better name might be the "swampy" trail, as the path is often muddy, running as it does through and along quite a bit of wetland. Note: this is not a knock against the trail. The wetland environment makes this area particularly birdy.
Old "You are entering private property" sign, slowly being consumed by tree.
Because of its many access points and the number of spurs leading in and out, the Field View Trail can be somewhat confusing to navigate. Of particular concern is the status of the easement. Is this private property or not? The signage may or may not be up to date.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of Ridge Hill posts. There is a meeting about the future of Ridge Hill on February 9 at the library starting at 7:15 p.m.

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